Tuam St in Houston, Texas

July 05, 2011 Summer continues and my bike rides continue to make my brain bounce around sociologically and economically. Today, I challenge any readers of this post to take a ride (bike or car) East on Tuam St. Start in Midtown on Brazos or Bagby. Note how you are in the heart of Midtown apartment lands full of upwardly mobile professionals. Cross 288 and note how quickly this highway divide (formerly a railroad divide) changes the environment. Immediately at intersection of 288 and Tuam is a burned out house. Within six blocks, you cross from one of the most gentrified neighborhoods in Houston into one of the poorest. Houses falling down, burned out shells of homes, people walking to work or to the corner store. How does that happen? How does abject poverty exist so closely to middle class prosperity? As you cross back over 288, look to your right and see the thriving metropolis that is downtown Houston and one of the industrially wealthiest cities in the country. Look to the left at the world class Texas Medical Center and wonder to yourself as I did, how did this neighborhood get overlooked in our ascendency? Coming from a person who is a fairly Libertarian and capitalistic in her views, this boggles my mind. 3/13/2012 Update:  The burned out house and many others have been torn down in the past months; development is coming.

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